If you are doing a unit on travel, cities or geography, then here is the perfect project for you! It’s one of my favorites that I’ve done for years because it’s still fun and engaging and is perfect for any language.
At the end of our unit about stores and directions in the city (ie. Realidades 2-3) students must create a trifold brochure about a Spanish-speaking city of their choice. While I don’t usually dictate what types of language students must use for projects, for this one I told students they needed to use at least three commands and have one testimonial from a person who had visited the city (real or imaginary). We had been studying commands, and they fit in logically with a city guide to say things like “Visit Punta Cana!” or “Come to Barcelona!” so this was a good way for students to focus on form. The testimonial had to include some past tense and included a real-life connection, as students looked at real reviews on www.tripadvisor.es for their cities. Additional requirements were that students needed to include pictures and at least one map, plus 200+ words.
This can be an overwhelming project for some students, so I started off with worksheet asking simple questions to guide their research so they could write simple sentences about the city’s population, weather, transportation and attractions. I have lots of heritage speakers in my classes, so I had differentiated worksheets to get my heritage speakers to write more. Once students had shown me this sheet they were free to start the electronic version.
Formatting the brochure
Getting the format of a trifold can be a bit tricky. In Google Docs students must first go to File > Page Setup and change the page to Landscape so it is horizontal instead of vertical. In this same box you can also change the page color if you want a pretty background.
Next under Format choose Columns and choose the picture with three columns.
In order to do a true trifold students will need to have a two-page document. It’s possible to print out the two pages and glue or staple them together. It’s easier to print them out two-sided but you’ll need to change your printer settings so you print two-sided on the long edge, otherwise one side will be upside down.
Chances are your school isn’t going to let you make 50+ color copies. I make my color copies at home ever since I found one of the greatest teacher hacks ever! Seriously, I’m really grateful for this one. I used to spend a ridiculous amount of money on printer ink every few months, even when printing in black and white. Two years ago when I needed a new printer, I heard about the HP Instant Ink program from a co-worker. It mails you ink before you run out and you pay a flat sum for a certain amount of copies a month. I now spend less than $8 a month for all the color or black and white copies that I want! If you are interested you can get 4 months free of this Instant Ink through May with my affiliate link. I promote this program because it’s really helped me out!
After I’ve printed out all the guides, students get into small groups and read each other’s guides, passing around four or five brochures per group. It’s a chance to celebrate the great work they did and to learn about new cities. After they have read the guides, they have a discussion with their group comparing the cities they read about and discussing which one they’d most like to visit and why.
These guides also make a great all-school display to encourage multilingualism. This year some of ours ended up being highlighted in the library!
If you’d like to try this project, the requirements, prep sheet and discussion guide are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store here.